Juan Soto says “it feels weird” to be part of trade talks as Nationals star’s deadline nears

Juan Soto says “it feels weird” to be part of trade talks as Nationals star’s deadline nears

Asked-out Juan Soto says it feels weird to be a part of the trade talks even as the Nationals star turned down a huge $440million contract extension offer – with the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals leading the pursuit to to sign it by the Tuesday deadline

  • The outfielder has turned down multiple offers to extend his spell in Washington
  • The youngest would make him the highest paid player in baseball
  • A trade for the two-time All Star would require a number of prospects
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo could also see offers from the Blue Jays and Dodgers

As one of the biggest names on Major League Baseball’s list of potential trades, Nationals star Juan Soto is still getting used to having his name tossed around in the media.

Trade talks continue ahead of Tuesday’s close as the Dominican Republic-born outfielder has turned down multiple offers to remain in the nation’s capital.

The 2022 Home Run Derby winner has received multiple contract extension proposals, most recently a 15-year, $440 million deal.

That contract would have made Soto the highest-paid player in baseball, surpassing the $426.5 million deal Mike Trout received from the Los Angeles Angels.

Juan Soto’s time in Washington could come to a very abrupt end this week

Soto won the 2022 Home Run Derby as part of his second All-Star selection

Soto won the 2022 Home Run Derby as part of his second All-Star selection

Soto made a major contribution to the 2019 Nationals team that won the World Series

Soto made a major contribution to the 2019 Nationals team that won the World Series

That rejection of a contract offer has started a rumor mill in MLB circles as fans try to piece together potential trades to see if their favorite teams could land the slugger.

Not blind to the constant rumors and speculation, Soto seems to find everything a bit of a whirlwind.

Soto’s time in DC

Franchise Leaders in On Base %, Adjusted OPS+, Offensive Win % (including Expos stats)

8th in home runs, 9th in batting average

Two-time Silver Slugger winner, two-time All-MLB First Team

Two-time All Star

World Champion 2019

Speaking to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Soto noted how wild the rumors have gotten.

“It was crazy,” he told the reporter. “It feels strange being part of all these conversations. All these teams are fighting for me, it was just crazy.

“I’m comfortable in the city, I [brought] a championship here. I’m a successful player and I’ll do anything to win. I would like to stay here. I’d be more than happy, but at the end of the day I don’t make decisions. I’m just here to play, to give 100% every day on the pitch and everywhere I go.”

Which teams are the favorites to raise the money for Soto, reports say the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals are among the preferred landing spots.

Baseball insiders have also raised the possibility of Soto being sent to the Toronto Blue Jays or the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Washington won’t be happy if Soto goes into the offseason without a stipulated extension as the 23-year-old faces arbitration.

Despite only playing five seasons in the majors, Soto was one of the most influential players in Washington Nationals history.

His career batting average of .291 is good for ninth place in a franchise history that includes when the team was known as the Montreal Expos.

Along with that time in Canada, Soto is still the franchise leader in stats like grassroots percentage, offensive win percentage, and adjusted OPS+.

Any move that comes about will result in Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo prioritizing the future as Washington struggles at the bottom of the NL East Division.

The Nationals will reportedly want several top prospects, and many believe Rizzo will require between four and five good young players.

Fans in DC brace themselves for the departure of one of the greatest players in franchise history

Fans in DC brace themselves for the departure of one of the greatest players in franchise history

It's up to Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo to find a suitable trade for his star player

It’s up to Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo to find a suitable trade for his star player